Preparing to welcome space aliens to Earth is not as farfetched as it seems. In September 2014, NASA and the Library of Congress held a symposium titled “Preparing for Discovery”, where the likelihood of extraterrestrial life being discovered was widely regarded as inevitable. Last week, the Astrobiology Magazine released an article where the symposium convener, Professor Steven Dick, was interviewed in his official capacity of NASA/Library of Congress Chair of Astrobiology. Dick shared his thoughts on his position, the symposium, and the implications of discovering alien life and making contact:
It’s very farsighted for NASA to fund a position like this…. They have all their programs in astrobiology, they fund the scientists, but here they fund somebody to think about what the implications might be. It’s a good idea to do this, to foresee what might happen before it occurs.
NASA and the Library of Congress have a rival in preparing for the discovery and making contact with extraterrestrial life. Lazo’s Wall Street Journal article covered the genesis of the Hawaii Star Visitor Sanctuary, and reactions to the idea of a creating a landing place for space aliens. Lazo interviewed Dr Seth Shostak, senior astronomer for the Center for SETI Research who was skeptical:
In terms of any of this making any sense, of course it doesn’t. If you had the technology to fly yourself to another planet, to visit another star system in our galaxy, I think the last of your concerns would be finding a flat, ready-made landing strip.
Shestak’s response misses the point. Space aliens seeking to land on Earth would certainly not have a shortage of landing options, but clearly would have a desire to be welcomed rather than shot at. Currently, no government on Earth has developed a clear policy where they would officially welcome alien visitors who peacefully appear in the skies.
The closest we have come was back on Dec 20, 2007, when Japan’s Defense Minister, Shigeru Ishiba, made a statement in response to a parliamentary question of how the Defense Force would respond to UFOs appearing in Japanese airspace. Ishiba said that official defense policy was that if no hostile intent was displayed, the Japanese Defense Force would not militarily engage with the space visitors. Ishiba’s statement is one of the few public policy statements released on possible responses to extraterrestrial visitors by a major nation. Unfortunately, his statement was widely ridiculed by the international media and did not result in an official policy being developed by Japan
In contrast, representatives of the Lawful Hawaiian Government took up the issue, and went ahead in issuing a declaration officially welcoming star visitors to sovereign land it controls. On June 27, 2014, land was officially dedicated by Lawful Hawaiian Government representatives including its Minister for the Interior, Naliko Markel. Later, a document setting out protocols for extraterrestrial contact was approved by Lawful Hawaiian Government representatives. At the Lawful Hawaiian Government’s annual congressional convention held in January 2015, both documents concerning the Hawaii Star Visitor Sanctuary were officially presented and included in the official parliamentary record. Both the Prime Minister, Henry Noa, and Foreign Minister, Nelson Armitage, subsequently gave interviews in which they expressed their support of the initiative by Big Island representatives to welcome star visitors to Hawaii.
What is going to happen now? No one knows for sure. As Lazo writes, “so far, curious Earthlings are the only outsiders who have turned up.” But that can quickly change if space aliens accept the welcome by the Lawful Hawaiian Government. Lazo is correct that if aliens do accept, that would give a boost to Hawaii’s sovereign independence movement, Not only would Hawaii become a major center for diplomacy at a galactic level, but humanity would get a giant boost to the stars!
© Michael E. Salla, Ph.D. Copyright Notice